The Association of Banana Producer Organizations of the Canary Islands (Asprocan) has denounced the lack of action on the part of the European Union (EU) despite a new alert calling attention to excessive banana imports from third countries.
In a statement, Asprocan has criticized that although the alert thresholds for banana imports from third countries have again been exceeded, the European Commission has again decided to maintain the tariff preferences and not apply the temporary suspension foreseen in the stabilization mechanism.
According to the association, Guatemala and Peru have been the latest countries to exceed the limit of imports foreseen by the European Union in their tariff reduction agreements.
Asprocan has made this statement after the European Commission deemed it unnecessary to temporarily suspend the preferential customs tariff for imports from Guatemala and Peru, considering that the volume, despite exceeding the limit established by the Commission itself, has not had impact on prices on the European banana market.
As of October 15, 2018, fresh banana imports from Guatemala and Peru represented 2.95% and 2.80% of the EU's imports of this product subject to the stabilization mechanism, compared to Colombia's 51%, Ecuador's 64.3% and Costa Rica's 64.3%, reported Asprocan.
For Asprocan, this decision is incompatible with the request made last week by the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade, asking to respect the limits on banana imports established in the stabilization mechanism and to create a monitoring mechanism when this system expires, in 2020.
In its report, the association says that its members would like banana imports to continue being monitored with appropriate statistics. It also points out that Peru has exceeded the export quotas established in this banana stabilization mechanism.
The sector has again appreciated the support granted by the European Parliament, although "it has complained that, when it matters most, the European Commission fails to meet the provisions of the stabilization mechanism in order to protect EU productions against excessive imports from third countries."